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The "Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles" Quest for Music Composer Research

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by T.Q., Nov 18, 2019.

Choose your favorite soundtrack version:

  1. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 -- Prototype / PC

  2. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 -- Mega Drive / Sega Genesis

  3. Sonic [3] & Knuckles -- Mega Drive / Sega Genesis

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
  2. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Long-term happiness
    Didn't want to post this over in the big thread, given the split, but RE Knuckles' theme being in SPA: I think this one was just an oversight on Sega's part, moreso considering in SPA it's little more than a fancy percussion beat.
  3. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    I think it's more likely that Sonic 3 didn't have any music issues at the time of Sonic Pocket Adventure and it become something later on.

    I think that the controversies are probably much more recent than we think, perhaps starting around 2010.

    In fact, MJ died in 2009. Has anyone considered whether the issues started shortly after his death?
  4. Qjimbo


    Your friendly neighbourhood lemming. Oldbie
    This might be better as a page on the Retro wiki instead of a forum post so it can be updated with links and citations?
    We can edit it here:

    Marble Garden was by Miyoko Takaoka -

    Hydrocity Act 2 was arranged by Masayuki Nagao, but we don't know who composed it, dissident93 did some research on this and speculated Masanori Hikichi -
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  5. rata


    Trying to be useful somehow.
    Proto Credits theme sounds like Tetsuyuki Maeda for me, and 2E can't be from Jun Senue, otherwise it would have been reused somewhere. xD
  6. Hey guys, the recent Sonic 3 beta and its musical difference got me to log back in for the first time in years. If nobody remembers me, then I'm the one who Cirocco Jones told about the pending lawsuit years ago (which seems to become the consensus reason behind Sega's treatment of Sonic 3), so I have years of research and experience with this topic. And before anybody asks, no I don't have any followup information on that as I stopped contacting these people shortly after. It was nothing legally binding, but I just didn't feel right bothering them on their personal social media accounts, especially after hearing about the possible issues they had with Sega. But yes, you're generally correct with most of the posted info. The Uwabo and some of the Nagao info come from me asking them via Facebook years ago. Of course, getting screenshots of the actual conversations is now impossible, as those messages are long gone (something I now regret). I don't remember if I ever put this in the original post about the topic years ago (something I need to go through and collect all in a single place for ease of research), but I recall Nagao not being 100% certain about his contributions to the project, so it's possible he may have did more (or less) tracks. Also, a small tidbit that I don't think was ever posted here, but Setsumaru told a friend of mine via Facebook how excited he was when he heard that he would be working with MJ on the game.

    And one last thing, but there is a solid possibility that more uncredited composers contributed to the game than previously thought. I say this because of the Blue Spheres song being included in the unreleased, but planned 1992 release of SegaSonic Bros, which obviously predates Sonic 3. And although Milpo did receive a credit in the game, (although as a part of the Sega Sound Team and not Music Composer, if that matters) it's highly possible that some other tracks in the game were actually written previously for other projects and went unused until Sonic 3.

    Good idea, that wiki list could serve as good place to put all the citations and such in one page. And the Hikichi = Hydrocity thing is pure speculation from me, but it would make some sense if you consider Nagao (who already knew Hikichi from Cube, they also did Mean Bean Machine together) would arrange his track over somebody else's. I don't mean to get into baseless speculation, but if that is the case, then it could mean that Lava Reef Zone is another Hikichi/CUBE composition. The style of it is pretty similar, at least.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
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  7. LordOfSquad


    bobs over baghdad Member
    Winnipeg, MB
    making cool music no one gives a shit about
    I was hypothesizing just a few weeks ago that the Collection tracks were always the intended tracks, and the Jackson tracks we have in the final game were inserted on the sly in the mad dash to get the game out. Feels neat to be right about the first half of that sentence at least, but now the question is, how and why did the Jackson tracks end up in the game at the point that they did, and who inserted them? It's my hunch that the Jackson tracks were not intended to be used in the final game both for time and scandal reasons, and were either:
    A) slipped in by a rogue employee working on their own modus operandi, using what Jackson tracks were finished at that point, or,
    B) slipped in by a misinformed employee who got the wrong/mistranslated memo about which songs were intended to be used.

    It's notable that S&K Collection is the only time S3K's gotten a source port (barring Jam, which uses recorded audio anyway), and it's telling that the Jackson tracks are absent; probably because they were never supposed to be used given the circumstances one way or the other, but they were anyway. Unfortunate that we can't ask Masaru Setsumaru himself what transpired; it's my understanding that he was responsible for "Genesis-ifying" the songs intended for the game (correct me if I'm wrong), and he's credited in S&K Collection as Sound Coordinator. If anyone would know what REALLY went down behind the scenes under the deadline, it'd be that guy. But unfortunately for us he's still working at SEGA, so no real answers there. :ssh:
  8. Apslup


    Feelin' Fine. Member
    This is basically just speculation on my part, but I think that Cirocco Jones or the Sega Sound Team could have also been behind the Carnival Night Zone music (more so Act 2 than Act 1).

    I can definetly hear some some of the same sounds used in Hydrocity Zone Act 1 and 2 (more so Act 1) in the unused CNZ music. They also seem to have the same sort of upbeat musical style to them, I don't really know how to explain it. Go listen to it yourself and decide.

    If my theory is correct, it could also point to the Sega Sound Team being the ones who composed both since Cirocco only composed "levels 2 and 3" while CNZ was always Level 4.

    I'm probably compltely wrong on this though.
  9. Plus, if Cirocco composed HCZ's music, there would be no way it could end up in Sonic Mania.
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  10. PhotonSeek


    Sent a message to Sawada about what tracks he may have composed. Stay tuned.
  11. Taylor


    I know it was the 90s and there was less communication/oversight, but I can't imagine something as big as MJ's music slipping in without getting caught. I think it's actually possible that MJ's music never did make it into the game. Ice Cap and the credits theme, which we thought was composed by MJ, was actually composed by Buxer. And going off the interview it sounds like MJ had a mostly hands-off approach to S3's music, which makes sense considering all the shit he was dealing at the time. We do know from Ohshima that at least some demos of his exist in Sega's possession, but that's it.

    I hope Sawada is fine with these questions. Last thing we need is someone getting burnt out by fandom questions :V
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  12. Antheraea


    Bug Hunter Member
    Sky Sanctuary's writing credits are listed in the Sonic Generations OST liner notes as by SEGA (and just that. wtf.) The same is also true for Mushroom Hill, Big Arms, even the game's credits medley which credits SEGA alongside the other composers. Challenge//Mission 2, Challenge//Mission 4 has similar - "Composed by Jun Senoue & SEGA". The Act Clear jingle is also credited to SEGA.

    Basically literally every Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles track used or remixed in Sonic Generations has the composer attributed as SEGA. It is so strange to me that they went through whatever legal hoops they had to use them for this game but then can't be bothered to fill in the gaps on the liner notes for the four-disc official soundtrack release.
  13. sonicthesnot


    My guess is the following:

    There was an interview a while back with one of the producers of S3&K where he specifically said that unlike Sonic 1&2, the development team was able to pick and choose each level's track from a wide variety of composers. Of the 41 tracks MJ&Crew submitted, SEGA picked 6-7 they liked most and put them into the game last-minute. Or maybe they only had time to do 6-7 tracks given how late in the development cycle this happened. I also think that the Sonic PC tracks are original (or slightly modified) MIDI demos. They have a similar feel to Jun Senoue's recently released Sonic 3D Blast demos. MJ&Crew probably recorded their tracks in a different format, and no one felt like making MIDIs of them specifically for the PC version... probably no ROI.

    There's a good chance all the "OMG MJ BAD PUBLICITY" theory has been overblown. Roger Hector was the first to kick off this theory and perhaps he remembered wrong or wasn't involved enough with the day-to-day stuff to what happened exactly. And there's a chance that MJ's name wasn't in the credits because, well, he didn't like how the tracks sounded and Buxer has been telling the truth...
  14. Taylor


    If you can find that interview, you should link it. I tried searching for "Yuji Naka" + "Sonic 3" + "music" (as he was the producer of Sonic 3) and turned up nothing.
  15. For the Sonic generations 3DS Demo, there's a The Doomsday remix for the Big Arms boss. That would implies that Jun Senoue composed The Doomsday too, from Sonic & Knuckles. Honestly, the pace of that songs fits with his style.

    So, anyway. As for now, we know the songs Jun composed for Sonic 3 & Knuckles is: Act Clear, Game Over, Gumball Machine, Magnetic Orbs, Balloon Park, Mushroom Hill Zone, Sky Sanctuary Zone, Big Arms and maybe The Doomsday Zone. I remember I've seen somewhere that Jun composed Flying Battery as well. I need to find the source again.

    Oh, and he remixed Sandopolis in Team Sonic Racing, so... maybe?
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  16. Highly doubt Sky Sanctuary, Mushroom Hill Zone, Big Arms, Doomsday Zone, and Flying Battery are Senoue's, as none of those tracks sound like him. He had also just joined Sega (in 1993) when the game was in development, so it wouldn't make much sense for them to rely on him for most of the soundtrack. He simply arranged them in other games because he could, and if he did write all those tracks, then all the other credited composers would have had little work.

    I think he's referring to Iizuka's comments in the Sonic Jam Official Guide (as stated on the Flying Battery Zone retro page), where he says that:
    Note: but seeing as how the guide was written in Japanese, this statement may have been mistranslated or omitting other details.
  17. Qjimbo


    Your friendly neighbourhood lemming. Oldbie
    Interesting - seems fairly reliable if thats from the header of the MIDI files included with S&K collection.
  18. Qjimbo


    Your friendly neighbourhood lemming. Oldbie
    How are they gone? Can you not still access the FB account you used? Sometimes accounts can be reactivated if you closed it.
  19. muteKi


    Fuck it Member
    Do the S&K midi files have headers? No conversion tool I've seen has respected them. I'm not convinced this isn't information the poster of that file edited in after the fact.